The Unpacking Gemara Guide How does one read a Talmudic Text? this might help you figure out how to proceed. If you have figured out, it still might be useful. Using my catchphrase from Ber 62a, you can learn a lot about Talmudic Rabbis you never really wanted to know, but were required to learn.
13 Middot of Rabbi Ishmael : A simple explanation of the 13 primary logical principles used to derive Rabbinic law from the Torah.
Tanna Rabbis : A time line of the Authorities quoted in the Mishna
Amora Rabbis – a time line of the the Yerushalmi and Bavli Amoraim (coming soon)
The Tanna Writings Map: A map of the major writings of the first generations of rabbis, including the Mishnah and Midrash
A really cool interactive Talmud page map from the University of Calgary. Roll over a part and it will tell you what it is. Click on it and you will get further information, including history andm samples of the text in English translation.
These are some other books I use when studying Talmud, because they are very compact and contain many of the commonly used phrases:
- Berman, Scott A. Learing Talmud: A guide to Talmud Terminology and Rashi Commentary Notrthvale NJ: Aaronson Publishers 1997. Good for understanding rabbinic phrases.
- Carmell, Aryeh Aiding Talmud Study 5th ed. New York: Feldheim Publishers, Inc. 1998 Shlomos’ favorite with lots of good stuff, including a great abbreviation lexicon, short Aramaic grammar and the rules for halakic decision making. (i.e. who trumps who)
- Kaplan, Dovid The Ohr Samayach Gemara Companion New York: Feldheim Publishers Inc. 200
Nice charts of common phrases.
Here is the link to Amazon.com’s entry for the Hendrickson Publishers version of the Jastrow dictionary
The On-line Jastrow options
The Tynedale Archive On-line Jastrow:
There is a fully indexed by page version of the Jastrow dictionary now on-line by the Tynedale Archive of Biblical studies. You pick the first letter of the word and the beginning word on the page, and the system loads that page of the Jastrow into the browser window. You can even zoom in real close and actually read what the entry says.
Downloadable Jastrow: It’s not the best resource in the world but in a crunch it will do. Someone scanned every page of the Jastrow Dictionary, and placed it in Adobe
Acrobat Format. As each page is a black and white picture, these are two are huge files to download so they may take a long time. But you
can zoom in real close and actually read what the entry says……..
There is also a more segmented version broken up by twenty- page segments. Since this is not by alphabetical segments I
find it cumbersome, but if you can’t load the larger files above its an option.
Most of these documents use the Adobe acrobat reader. If you need to install this free reader, click here to go to the Adobe Acrobat website.
Numbers and Gematria: A quick guide to using the Hebrew alphabet as a numbering system, and one of its common exegetical purposes, Gematria